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Live from practice

Posted By On April 8, 2011 @ 1:37 pm In Hockey,New York Rangers,NHL | 55 Comments

Will have quotes soon from Prust, Dubinsky, Lundqvist, Drury and Tortorella.

You’ve heard by now that Mats Zuccarello is up from Connecticut and Tortorella said that the reality that the game could come down to a shootout is a consideration in having him up. Drury skated, but he and Tortorella were very vague about whether there’s a chance he could play tomorrow. Marc Staal was given a maintenance day off.

Saw the Captain here today — you know THE Captain. He wasn’t offering any guarantees.

Quotes to follow.

John Tortorella:

I asked if the experience of Game 82 last year could be of  any help tomorrow:

“No. No. We need to focus on what we need to do for one game tomorrow and not worry about what happened before, during this season, not worry about what happened last season. It’s just focusing on what we need to do tomorrow.”

On Zuccarello and the shootout:

“Yeah, it has to come into our thinking. It’s crazy, but it has to come into our thinking. But he’ll come up and see what happens.”

Any chance of Drury playing:

“No. No. There’s no timetable there. Again, I’m not even sure what the lineup’s going to be. So we’ll make that decision tomorrow.”

On the short memory his team has had:

“It’s got to be really short. We play at 12:30 tomorrow. Listen, this team has bounced back from clunkers that we’ve played, from injuries, from a lot of different things this year. And we have full trust that we will be ready to play. Again, like I said, we lose control as far as losing last night. But you wake up today, you go to work and you need to look what’s ahead of you here. They’ve bounced back in a lot of different situations this year. They’ll do it tomorrow.”

“We had our process today to get ready for tomorrow. I feel very comfortable with the club and their mindset.”

On the youthful ignorance being beneficial:

“Ignorance and not thinking is very good for hockey players. Really, it’s true. If you’re thinking too much you get paralyzed. It’s  a loose group, it’s been a confident group, it’s a good group, so we’ll be ready to play tomorrow.”

I asked if he’ll watch any games tonight:

“No, but I’ll check a few scores. I’m not watching any of that (cooke). I’m sure I’ll check a few scores, I’ll be honest with you there. You have to now. But, again, the biggest focus is, we turn around pretty quickly here and I think that’s a good thing for our club — get ready to play, play a 12:30 game, get at it and see where we go.”

They played a shinny game at center ice the end of practice, and I asked if that was to just keep it loose.

“Yeah, we’ve been trying to … again, we’re a good hockey team. We’ve had a really good year. We have 43 wins. In the past five or six weeks, we’ve gone into San Jose and beaten them. We’ve gone into Pittsburgh, they opened the door with some undiscipline, we beat them. We’ve beaten Boston twice. We’ve beaten Philly twice. We’ve played some clunkers, but we’re a good hockey club. It’s not about correcting out in practice right now. It’s not about (video) tape work. It’s about how you feel about yourself as a player and as a group. And again, I am confident that these guys will recapture themselves, will feel good about themselves and play a really good game tomorrow.”

On remembering how it felt to be eliminated in Game 82 last year and whether it had an effect on this year’s team:

“I don’t think so. You’d have to ask the individuals. This is a different club. I think we have some different personnel. I think this club had a mindset. They did their work in the summer and that really propelled us to have a really good foundation to how we were going to play. I think we’ve developed an identity, so I just think it’s apples and oranges. I think this is a different club this year.”

Is it better prepared to play a game like this?

“I think this is a better team. I think it’s a better team mentally. I think it’s a better team, togetherness. You guys can write what you want. I think it’s a pretty damn good club and we’re going to try to find a way tomorrow.”

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